How do you resolve customer queries efficiently? How do you improve customer experience? How do you enable employees to serve customers in the best possible way?
The answer lies in building a service desk system that works well for customers and employees. If we go by the ITIL 4 glossary, the system is a single point of contact between the user and the service provider.
Service desks were traditionally used to lodge and resolve technical questions. But since then, the scope of the system has broadened to include comprehensive business support.
The article will look at the reasons for having a service desk system. We will also explore the below four components that can help you provide quality customer service:
Importance of a Service Desk
IT operations have become an integral part of businesses, big or small. A service desk is a link between IT and employees, customers, and other stakeholders. The desk is responsible for performing various tasks like incident and service request management, SLA management, and self-servicing portals, among others.
They offer benefits like:
- Improved operation efficiency
- Boost productivity
- Prevent incidents from becoming major issues
- Improved IT asset management
- Better communication and collaboration among departments
The Four Components of a Successful Service Desk
If you want to make IT a seamless experience for all users and resolve customer concerns efficiently, then you need to have a service desk that is set up for success. Focusing on the below four components can help you do so.
1. Defining the Service Process
Why do you want to build a service team? What goals do you aim to achieve? When will you consider your team to be a success?
The answers to these questions will help you define your team’s service process and SLAs. To begin with, focus on a few metrics like ticket volume, ticket distribution, response, and resolution time.
With SLAs in place, define processes that will help support agents meet those metrics. Next, you must routinely measure to know where you stand with performance. Then, finally, you incorporate the results to optimize the service process.
So the process you define and your service team follows must align with your business objectives.
2. IT Infrastructure
The ticketing software and other tools you employ must be easy to integrate, learn and use. Your service agents will use software and applications to receive, track and resolve queries and service requests.
So, your IT infrastructure should be capable of handling the load, and support agents do their job right. However, if the software is too complex, the agents will have difficulty accessing information and resolving issues.
The software in use should enable collaboration. For example, authorized service agents from different teams should be able to pull up tickets, check status, and update information.
Using current technologies is understandable as you need to keep up with market trends and cybersecurity concerns. But know that technology and people must work together for a successful service desk.
3. Service Desk Agents
You can have the best IT infrastructure, software, and processes in place. But you need skilled professionals to get the most out of your system. You need to train service agents on how to best use the tools and knowledge at their disposal.
They need to understand the technologies your company and customer use, brand values, type of issues, and other technical aspects.
The agents are the face of your business. The technical knowledge they possess must be communicated to users in an easy-to-understand manner. Thus you need to invest in their soft skills and train them in:
- Interpersonal skills
You also must encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing among teams so that all your agents provide consistent quality services across departments.
4. Focus on Customer Experience
Today, customers have high expectations from organizations. They want to be treated as individuals and not mere numbers on the scale. Customers want to feel valued. 12 years of research by KPMG has shown that when it comes to customer relations, the six qualities that matter are:
- Time and Effort
According to recent reports, personalization is a driving force of customer loyalty. So considering these key findings, your processes and service agent training efforts should be customer-centric. Service agents should be technically strong and also friendly when fixing issues.
For example, it could be a straightforward greeting process when a new ticket is raised. When a user calls, use the opportunity to gather and verify basic details, actively listen to the issue and expectations, and confirm questions. Such behavior shows the customer you are here for them.
If the customer is reaching out over email or a portal, then use automated responses to keep them in the loop. For example, let them know their issue is acknowledged, when an agent will contact them, and the general resolution time frame.
Another area you can focus on would be the first-call resolution. Provide service agents with tools, knowledge library, and training to resolve issues at first contact. So as you can gather, all the components mentioned above need to work together to fulfill the responsibilities of a service desk.
Explore Managed Service Desk Offerings
To provide customers with excellent service, your organization should focus on its technological landscape, processes, and empowering service agents. These tasks require technical expertise and are cost and effort-intensive.
Not all organizations can invest in building, training, and maintaining a dedicated service team internally. For small and medium businesses, this could be resource-draining. So, how do you overcome this challenge?
The answer is outsourcing your service desk requirement. By partnering with an MSP, you instantly get access to skill resources, you can scale or downgrade the team as needed, cut costs and most importantly, be available for your customers.
To summarize, the four components that make up a successful service desk are IT infrastructure, Processes, People, and Customer Experience.
Depending on your organization’s size, each component’s complexity may vary. Therefore, you should uniquely define the specific SLAs, metrics, and standards in accordance with your business objectives.
You could use the above information to build a functional and responsive service team or outsource your requirements to an experienced service provider.